Its been many years since I last set foot in Faslane Scotland, actually 56 years ago to be exact. I first arrived there in 1960 aboard the submarine HMS Taciturn to carry out six weeks of work up trails. The work up was something every submarine did after completing major refits. To the best of my knowledge all home fleet work ups were done in and around Faslane. There was also a squadron of boats stationed there plus a depot ship and a couple of floating dry docks. There wasn’t a large base back then, just a small enclosed compound with a few admin and storage buildings. For recreation we mostly caught the bus into Helenburgh a few miles away. That was then! Today Faslane is a major Naval base and home to the fleet of the nuclear missile submarines. I haven’t been there since the mid 1960’s so have little idea of the size of the base today. However, it is huge, many times larger than in my day. The submarine headquarters now span an area of a couple of square miles. Not too far away is a vast under ground bunker complex where the nuclear war heads are stored. These bunkers are massively built and strong enough to with stand an earthquake.The cost of building these bunkers was in the Billions. I believe there is approximately 250 married quarters and a major new shopping complex. I can only imagine the number of people employed there, not forgetting the huge benefits to the local economy. You are probably wondering why I’m writing about the submarine base. Well a serious disaster could lay ahead. The UK has voted to leave the EU, yet the vote in Scotland was to stay. This has caused the Scottish Independent Party to once more demand another referendum to separate from England. If that was to happen and Scotland became an independent nation what would become of the submarine base? Its highly likely the Government and the Admiralty would immediately remove the base to another location, possibly Plymouth. What ever was decided the costs would be unimaginably high, even if it were practical, which its not. That leaves the possibility of the nuclear submarine fleet being disbanded under the overwhelming costs. Where would that leave Britain’s defenses, indeed the whole defense system of Europe and NATO. The Royal Navy have maintained a nuclear deterrent since the 1970’s, but there is no telling how its loss might affect the balance of power in the World. Scary thoughts indeed. If Scotland is convinced to vote independence will they realize the significance of and the dangerous course they will be setting out on. I hope and pray they will see sense and remain part of the UK. As I write this an old adage comes to mind that truly applies here, United we stand,Divided we fall”.
God Bless and keep reading